Can I be sued for damage my son caused to an apartment complex? Will I lose my son for an accidental fire he started?

UPDATED: May 27, 2009

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Can I be sued for damage my son caused to an apartment complex? Will I lose my son for an accidental fire he started?

My 14 year old son started a fire in my apartment complex and damaged a LOT of property. News reports say the damage is estimated at 1.5 mil. He’s never started fires before that I know of. Inspector is calling again wanting to meet and won’t give me details.

Asked on May 27, 2009 under Criminal Law, Maryland


J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

This is a very serious situation and i recommend that you hire a lawyer to help here if you can afford it.  You son is exposed to time in juvinile detention and you are exposed to civil lawsuits for your failure to supervise.  Whether these are viable claims, people may sue you.  Do you have renter's insurance?  Do you have any sort of liability policy?  If you do, you may want to place them on notice.  I am not sure whether the insurance company will pay such claims, but its worth a try.  Your son's actions here could has adverse affects of him getting into school and getting a job in the future.  It is very important that this matter is resolved so that his life is not handicapped forever.  Contact a lawyer immediately and do not let the police question your son without you present.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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